Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Research profile

Christianity and Theology in Culture and Society:
Formation – Reformation – Transformation

The research programme examines the formative period of Christianity, the Reformation and the impact of the Reformation as well as the transformation of Christianity in modernity and the present.

The formative period refers to the origin and establishment of Christianity as an independent religious group in antiquity, ranging from its birth in Near Eastern and Israelite-Old Testament religion to its expansion in the first five centuries.

The reformative period describes the reconstruction of Christianity in Europe in the 16th century, which is an important turning point for the interaction of culture and society.

The transformative period describes the present challenges facing European Christianity in a global world of multi-religiosity and secularity, where modernity demands significant transformations of the nature, expression and influence of Christianity.

Formation, reformation and transformation are primarily understood as certain periods and secondarily as interacting processes, during which Christianity continuously adapts and changes. Thus, a triangle is created which embraces the cultural dynamics. From this triangle, Christianity can be studied as a socio-cultural setting, with theology at the centre of the triangle, representing the intellectual core competence of Christianity. In an academic context, by means of theology, Christianity has played an important role in the making of the humanities. When it comes to contemporary and future political and cultural challenges, it is disputed whether Christian theology is still of importance to society: the issues for discussion include whether modern (European) societies derive their identity from the tension between traditional confession, syncretistic religiosity and secularity. The aim is to open new perspectives for modern society by shedding light on the past and by illuminating the role of Christianity in a globalised world.


The programme has a strong interdisciplinary dimension, with its interest in the interplay of Christianity and theology with culture and society. The group conducts research in theology, history, the study of religion, philosophy, the history of ideas and philology and opens up to collaboration with the social sciences and the aesthetic disciplines.


The research programme consists of nine collaborating research groups:

  • Old Testament Studies
  • New Testament Studies
  • Studies in the Christian Orient
  • Centre for the Study of Antiquity and Christianity
  • Practical and Empirical Theology
  • Theological Ethics
  • Research in K. E. Løgstrup
  • The Grundtvig Study Center